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Shining a light on senior workplace Diversity Champions

Category: Employer Focus, PwC, Diversity Champions, barclays, diversity jobs, EDf energy, HSBC, staff network group, Lloyds of London

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Senior sponsors are vital for employee network groups to grow and reach their full potential. This support ensures that at varying points in the work of the network group people take notice and the networks voice is heard throughout the organisation. We’re putting the spotlight on ten business leaders who are visible in their support for workplace diversity and inclusion and are driving positive changes.

Alan Garwood

Group Business Development Director, BAE Systems

“There is often some confusion over what diversity and inclusion means and why this matters – for us it is all about staying competitive and innovative. Many research reports have shown that diversity and inclusion leads to better employee retention and productivity. So having a diverse workforce and maintaining an inclusive working environment are key to the sustainability of the company.”

Alan is Executive Committee sponsor for Diversity & Inclusion at BAE Systems. Alan was awarded a CBE in the Queen's 2007 New Year's Honours list. The company has a number of active employee network groups who support their 88,000 employees working across six continents. BAE Systems featured in the 2016 UK Times Top 50 Employers for Women. To find out more about BAE Systems, please click here.

Andy Woodfield

Lead Partner for the International Aid Development Consulting practice, PwC

“I think the reality is that we all have good and bad days. The benefit of people networks is that when you have a bad day you have people you can talk to, people you can trust, people who can support you, your own support network.”

Andy is the sponsoring Partner for the firms inclusive business network, GLEE@PwC - for gays, lesbians and everyone else - it’s open to everyone, including clients. He regularly features on lists of the most powerful and influential LGBT+ business leaders. PwC was voted the UK's ‘Top Graduate Employer’ in the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2016 survey for a record 13th year running. To find out more about PwC, please click here.

Ben van Beurden

Chief Executive Officer, Shell

“A diverse population in Shell contributes different ways of thinking, and helps to encourage the innovation we need to ensure our portfolio is both attractive and resilient. Collaboration is critical to our success. Inclusion and inclusive behaviours are at the heart of effective collaboration, be it with team members, colleagues in other parts of our company, partners in our joint ventures, or most importantly with our customers.”

Ben has been appointed to the boards of a number of leading industry associations including the International Council of Chemicals Associations and the European Chemical Industry Council. Shell featured in the 2016 UK Times Top 50 Employers for Women and were the only Oil & Energy Company on LinkedIn’s Top Attractors 2016 list. To find out more about Shell, please click here.

Gail Taylor

Diversity & Community Engagement Manager, DWF

“Negative experiences can still be commonplace in the workplace for those who identify as LGBT.  Here at DWF, we are proud to be building a more inclusive, diverse culture that not only enables our people to succeed, but makes DWF an obvious choice for LGBT talent.”

Gail won the 2015 ‘Straight Ally of the Year’ award at Stonewall’s Yorkshire and the Humber awards - in recognition of her commitment to advancing the diversity agenda and for creating a diverse and supportive working environment for all DWF colleagues. DWF was shortlisted for the ‘Company of the Year’ award at the 2016 European Diversity Awards. To found out more about DWF, please click here.

Inga Beale

Chief Executive Officer, Lloyd’s

“It’s much healthier to come to work and be yourself. We are focusing more on inclusion than diversity because that is the key. People don’t necessarily want to be the diverse one; they want to feel like the included one.”

In 2013 Inga became Lloyd's first female CEO in the insurance market's 328-year history. She was the first female bisexual to top a list of the 100 most prominent LGBT+ executives and she was awarded a Damehood in the Queen's 2016 New Year's Honours list. Inclusion@Lloyd’s launched ‘Dive In’ - the first insurance sector wide diversity and inclusion festival. To find out more about Lloyd's, please click here.

Janet Hogben

Chief People Officer, EDF Energy

“We should all be thinking and behaving ‘inclusively’ whether that’s working within teams, engaging with customers or recruiting new people if we are to create and maintain the sort of culture that everyone likes to be part of. At EDF Energy we are really committed to achieving a feel better environment where inclusion is simply seen as the way we work and the culture we work in. Everyone benefits from feeling included.”

In January 2016 Janet signed the ‘Women in Nuclear UK Charter’, cementing the energy firms commitment to improving the gender balance and the representation of women in leadership in the nuclear industry. EDF Energy were recognised as finalists for ‘Responsible Business of the Year’ at the 2016 Business in the Community Awards. Their Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employee network were finalists in two categories at the Race for Opportunity 20th Anniversary Awards. To find out more about EDF Energy, please click here.

Karin Cook

Group Director of Operations, Lloyds Banking Group

“Being an executive sponsor is about championing the agenda at the highest level – creating an environment where colleagues voices can be heard, ensuring our leaders are committed to our diversity and inclusion activities and encouraging more allies to support our LGBT colleagues.”

Karin is Lloyds Banking Group’s Executive Sponsor for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and champions their LGBT programme and activities. In 2016 she was named ‘Senior Champion of the Year’ by leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) charity Stonewall. The bank was named the UK’s top private sector employer for LGBT people in the 2016 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. They also retained the award for the ‘Best Workplace Adjustment Process’ in 2016. To find out more about Lloyds Banking Group, please click here.

Mark McLane

Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) at Barclays

“The need for more women in senior leadership roles is widely recognised. At Barclays, we want to go further – we believe in cultivating a pipeline of female talent across all levels of the organisation, from the executive assistant right through to the boardroom.”

Mark has featured in The Guardian Global LGBT Power List and the Financial Times 100 LGBT Business Leaders in London list in 2014/15/16. Barclays featured in the 2016 UK Times Top 50 Employers for Women for the 9th year in a row and were named a ‘Star Performer’ (highest grading) in the global 2016 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. To find out more about Barclays, please click here.

Pam Kaur

Group Head of Internal Audit, HSBC

“When you are a minority, the first thing you ask yourself is – do I fit in? And it’s not necessarily how others around you make you feel; it’s your own self-consciousness. You have to say: ‘Just because I’m different, I’m not going to let it make me feel uncomfortable.’ That has to come from within.”

In 2016 Pam Kaur was named among the top 100 ethnic minority business leaders in the US, the UK and Ireland in the UPstanding list published by the Financial Times. To find out more about HSBC, please click here.

Tunde Ogungbesan

Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Succession, BBC

“We want diversity and inclusion to be business as usual at the BBC and at the heart of everything we do on and off-air. That’s why I believe diversity includes everyone.”

Tunde is responsible for overseeing the Corporation's diversity and inclusion and senior succession agenda to ensure that the BBC meets its goal of being the most creative organisation in the world and reflects the diversity of the UK on-screen, off-screen and its workforce and content. The BBC apprenticeship scheme was highly commended at the 2015 European Diversity Awards.

This is part three in our series on Staff Network Groups, please click for Part one and Part two.

VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email info@vercida.com for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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